Fundraiser allows Living Arts and Sciences Center Expansion

May 15, 2013

Old and New Captured in Living Arts and Sciences Center in a few years
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News

Everything is coming together financially for a major expansion of Lexington’s Living Arts and Science Center. A milestone in a fundraising effort came this week.  Director Heather Lyons says school buses are a common site outside the historic Living Arts and Science Center.  She says they drop off some of the 40-thousand children and adults who visit her center each year.

"We’ve reached the point where one program takes up the entire building and that keeps the other programs from being able to operate at the same time,” said Lyons.

Now that they can afford an expansion, Lyons anticipates  doubling the number of people who visit.  Center officials announced this week two-point-eight million dollars have been raised for the construction of a major addition.  It includes a one million dollar grant from the Lucille Little Foundation.  Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says the addition will feature very contemporary architecture..

“It’s a huge juxtaposition of modern and old and I just think it’s thrilling.  I think it will bring people here to Lexington who just want to see the building.  It’s unlike really anything that Lexington has,” said Gorton.

Heather Lyons says the addition, which will connect to the current building, will include a planetarium, a teaching kitchen,  large classrooms, and what’s called a ‘glow gallery.’

“So the ‘glow gallery’ is gonna be a two story glass fronted part of our building that will allow us to project images and people on the outside will be able to see photography exhibits and film screenings within the very walls of our building,” added Lyons.

Lyons says the philosophy is to add to historic structures, but clearly define the older building from what is new.  Plans call for a groundbreaking next spring with construction taking a little over a year.